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Clara Casey


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Clara Casey

  1. 1. + By Clara Casey J2001 - 03 Birthright Israel: lack of funding keeping many eligible applicants from a “life- changing” trip
  2. 2. + Birthright Israel Began in 2000 Purpose: to send Jewish young adults, ages 18-26, to Israel for a 10-day experience of a lifetime free of charge.
  3. 3. + Alumni call birthright “life-changing.” Alumni who described the trip as a life- changing experience Very much Somewhat A little Not at all 45% 28% 16% 11% Generation Birthright Israel, Saxe 45% 28% 16% 11%
  4. 4. + “Meeting the soldiers that fight for our homeland day in and day out made me appreciate everything I have, including my religion, on a deeper level. The trip changed my life in unexplainable ways.” - Ariella Hecht, Birthright Alumni, Summer 2010 Participants perception of how much closer the trip made them feel to Israel Very much Somewhat A little Not at all 72% 18% 7% 3% 72% 18% 7% 3% Generation Birthright Israel, Saxe
  5. 5. + Influential supporters of birthright “Birthright is life changing, huge, and motivating," he said. "It increases the likelihood of a connection to Israel, the Jewish people, and Jewish continuity.” - David Sherman, chairman of the board for the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago
  6. 6. + Application numbers are at a high. 38,000 Applicants 10,400 Accepted Summer 2010 •73% of applicants were waitlisted because of a “lack of funding.” – Irit Gross, Birthright Israel Foundation Generation Birthright Israel, Saxe
  7. 7. + Lack of funding “My understanding is that one of the major funders is still a major funder, but not at the level that he was last year.” - Sherman Many devoted to birthright seem optimistic. How will birthright sustain funding? With devoted donors and The Foundation, the fundraising branch of birthright.
  8. 8. + The Foundation The fundraising branch of birthright Currently working on a 5 year plan to get more funds. Adelson/New Founders Challenge Grant Every dollar a person donates to the foundation will be matched.
  9. 9. + Sample itinerary includes:  Tel Aviv  Jaffa  Jerusalem  Haifa  Tzfat  Caesarea  Nahal Oren  Golan Heights  Rabin Square  Independence Hall  Western Wall  Old city of Jerusalem  Tel Dan Reserve  Jordan River  Bedouin village  Masada  The Dead Sea  Yad Vashem  Mt. Hertzl
  10. 10. + Dancing after the arrival, summer 2010 On the bus going to Jaffa, summer 2010
  11. 11. + Participants on a beach in Tel Aviv, summer 2010 At the top of Mt. Sinai, summer 2010
  12. 12. + Meeting Israeli soldiers Americans and Israelis get a different perspective of each other. “One of my favorite parts of Birthright was getting to know the soldiers. It made me care a lot more about what is going on in the war in Israel.” - Hecht
  13. 13. + The soldiers are affected too. “Birthright changed me because now I appreciate serving in the army even more than I did before. I know that I am doing the right thing. I also got to see what another culture is like.” - Adi Stolero, Israeli soldier
  14. 14. + Breaks stereotypes of Americans “I was expecting to meet young people that were shallow. I quickly found myself proven wrong and was pleasantly surprised to find that almost everyone was interested in how life is here, and how they can help the cause in Israel.” - Orr Shilon, Israeli soldier
  15. 15. + More Knowledge of Current Events 50% of alumni were “more likely to feel ‘very confident’ of their ability to explain the current situation in Israel.” •Become more knowledgeable of current events •Form connections with people involved •Form a connection with Israel Those who go on birthright are likely to: Generation Birthright Israel, Saxe
  16. 16. + Connection to Israel is stronger Sense of Connection to Israel after birthright Very much Somewhat A little Not at all 58% 29% 10% 2% Generation Birthright Israel, Saxe
  17. 17. + How can people help? •Alumni fundraising councils •Donate the $250 deposit that is required to go on birthright •Donate online •Volunteer $250 is enough to host one person for one day in Israel.
  18. 18. + People are hoping for birthright to continue to prosper “I want my kids to be able to experience what I did, and be able to say, ‘I went on Birthright, and it changed my life,’ just like it changed mine.” - Hecht
  19. 19. + "Birthright Israel merits our support for the next ten decades." - Benjamin Netanyahu , Israeli Prime Minister, 2010
  20. 20. + Birthright Participants with the soldiers on their last day, Summer 2010
  21. 21. + Sources  Saxe, Leonard, Benjamin Phillips, Theodore Sasson, Shahar Hecht, Michelle Shain, Graham Wright, and Charles Kadushin. Generation Birthright Israel: The Impact of an Israel Experience on Jewish Identity and Choices. Brandeis University: Maurice and Marilyn Cohen Center for Modern Jewish Studies, Oct. 2009. Web. Sept. 2010.  Ariella Hecht (State University at Albany Junior, Birthright Alum) – 914-316-6906  David Sherman (Jewish United Fund (JUF) Chairman of the Board) – 312-735-4470  Irit Gross (Senior Development Associate, Alumni & Young Leadership Campaign Birthright Israel Foundation) – 212-419- 2870  Orr Shilon – 21-year-old Israeli soldier  Adi Stolero – Israeli soldier